Despite his initial apprehension, Daniel Ricciardo is warming to the idea of sprint races, though he warns racing should not be “manipulated or artificial” or race wins to “feel diluted”.
While there is serious doubt over the three events F1 bosses appear to have chosen – Canada, Brazil and Monza – there seems little doubt that the sport will persist with its plan to introduce sprint races as a means of ‘spicing up’ race weekends.
Though the teams have asked for more time to consider the idea, having lost out on reverse grids, F1’s powers that be have no intention of giving up on sprint races.
Previously a critic of the proposal, Daniel Ricciardo is now warming to the idea, though he stresses that whatever happens on a Saturday must never “dilute” the feeling of winning a world championship Grand Prix on Sunday.
“At first I was a little apprehensive,” admits the Australian, “I do feel better at the thought of that, certainly, than a reverse grid.
“Ultimately, if the best guys and the best teams are coming out on top, and it’s not manipulated or artificial so to speak, then I’m less scared of it,” he continued.
“Competition is what I love most, I would love to do more races and less practice, or whatever. In saying that, it kind of does go towards probably what I want. But I think the biggest thing is, I want an F1 win to still feel as big as what it should be.
“I don’t ever want an F1 win to feel diluted or just somewhat lower than what it should. As long as they do bring in another race on the weekend, as long as it carries the same value, then I’m certainly more open minded towards that.”
“As we have communicated last year, it’s very important that when we speak about different race formats that it’s not something that will artificially affect the pecking order,” added Andreas Seidl, “like the reserve grids situation, which is not the case with the discussion we’re having at the moment. That’s why we’re supportive.
“It’s also clear there’s now a working group, that will lay out the details as quickly as possible,” he continued, “because the devil is always in the detail.
“There is a commitment really from all the teams supporting this initiative and I’m sure that’s something we can all overcome quickly. We’re actually looking forward to try something like this, this year, and then see how do we go from there for the future.”